As the NBA finals wrapped up, the San Antonio Spurs winning in five games and the Miami Heat leaving with a sour taste in their mouth, an even better episode is about to come on your television. The NBA off-season is loaded with stories, rumors, speculation, projections and optimism this year.
So far it has not disappointed with both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony opting out, and teams are already ready to willingly throw themselves at the two most coveted free agents maybe of all time. The other notable headline that is floating around is which team will trade for Kevin Love or will he stay put with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Houston Rockets are a team that will be one of the most active teams in the off-season this year. With all the notable names and a need to improve the roster after last season’s first round exit to the Portland Trailblazers; Which player will the Rockets go after?
Nothing much needs to be said about this addition to the Rockets roster. You already have the league’s best shooting guard in James Harden and the league’s best center in Dwight Howard, and by adding a player of James’ caliber, that would definitely put the Rockets over the top.
The Rockets would have to move Jeremy Lin‘s contract after trading Omer Asik to New Orleans the other day. But with a general manager in Daryl Morey who is notoriously known for being a wizard when it comes to trading players (literally as I typed this Omer Asik was being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans) nobody is counting the Rockets out. The expectation would definitely have to be NBA finals and the absolute worst possible outcome is a Western Conference finals appearance.
The next player on the Rockets long list of players to shoot for (pun intended) is Carmelo Anthony. The New York Knicks small forward is 30 years old, and after a season in which he had one of his best years statistically and still missed the playoffs, he will be looking to win and win now.
There are reportedly three teams that Anthony has his eyes set on; the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. All three teams make a strong case to have Carmelo’s services, but all three teams have entirely different situations, scenarios and rosters as well.
The Mavericks made a trade sending Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Wayne Ellington for Knicks Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton making the move to give Carmelo Anthony familiarity if he so chooses to sign with the team. If Rockets can land Carmelo Anthony if gives them a third option that they can go to in certain situations, and most likely a bid to the Western Conference finals.
This is the tricky one for the Rockets. With Minnesota asking price being a little to steep for most team’s liking, the Rockets find themselves in a situation that they would rather not be in. They want the power forward to be on their roster, but not at the expense of having to trade away small forward Chandler Parsons.
Out of the other two players mentioned above, Kevin Love makes the most sense, and fits the best with the Rockets current roster. A much needed stretch-four who fits the Rockets system, shoots the three exceptionally well, and also can rebound and run the floor, this move could potentially put the Rockets over the top.
Ideally the Rockets would want to make the trade while keeping Parsons, Harden and Howard while adding Love. But this is the NBA. This is a business and teams are not willing to give away superstar players just to do the other team a favor (unless this is 2008 and the T’wolves trade Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics for virtually nothing). he expectation with this roster and adding that player would definitely make some noise in the West, and the Rockets would be a tough out.
As I type all of this, Morey is working his magic and the best is still yet to come.
Excited? I know I am.